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Monday, November 8, 2010

Poll Results 110

Here was the question:

Is this right? "What we were discussing were the grounds on which he would make the motion."

14 (28%)
36 (72%)

A tough one. I had to look this up to be sure. Strange as it may seem, this sentence is correct. Pages 103-104 of the Grammar Desk Reference explain that the word "what" is not what the verb agrees with; rather, it's what comes later in the sentence. GDR gives these examples of correct sentences:

What is most essential is a clear explanation.
What are most essential are clear explanations.

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